There is comfort in a simple, straightforward message.
"We are on lock down. Please stay out of the school. All our kids are safe. We are all hidden and OK.''
Minutes earlier the school had posted happy photos of children enjoying their final days of school before Christmas.
The catalyst for the lockdown warning was the arrest of a man who was reported to have been shot on the school's grounds. Police apprehended the man about 2.15pm and just under an hour later, Flaxmere primary pupils were allowed to go home.
"We are okay. Staff, kids and parents are all okay but still in lockdown. Going through a process and should be released soon," a second message to parents said about 2.45pm.
The children were met by emotional, grateful parents at the school gates.
One parent had heard a shot ring out.
"That could've been my babies," she told Hawke's Bay Today.
Flaxmere Primary School staff praised the kids for how they handled the situation.
Parents praised the school.
"Thank u Flaxmere Primary staff, for co operating with us parents and keepn us informed, and for keepn our babies safe and delivering them bk to us safely. It was scary for u as well as our tamariki. Thank u for a great job u all did today and everyday,'' a Facebook message said.
Another post mentioned the "tear stained emotionally wrought teachers who worked hard to safely deliver our tamariki back to us and the police who acted speedily kia kaha from us all in Flaxmere''.
And like the school's message warning of the lockdown, there was poignant simplicity.
"Thank you for keeping our babies safe."
The full circumstances of the shooting were evolving at edition time, but from a parent's point of view, hearing about a shooting near a school invokes just one thought ... "my child".
Flaxmere Primary School staff and management should be congratulated for the manner in which they allayed those fears in challenging circumstances, and looked after Flaxmere's "babies".